The Kent Crusaders II moved to 8-5 in NBL4 South East with a 80-78 win over Anglia Ruskin on Saturday.
A big second quarter gave Crusaders a double figure lead that they would never relinquish, though Anglia Ruskin clawed back to have a shot to tie the game on the final possession.
“It was nice to escape with a win today,” said Crusaders head coach Jesse Savant. “We played some good basketball at times today but really struggled to rebound the ball. The rebounding combined with some big shots from Anglia Ruskin made us really work to hold on for the win.”
Anglia Ruskin started off strongly, taking a 5 point lead early in the game. Daniel Beard then asserted himself, getting to the rim repeatedly as Crusaders take a 20-19 lead at the end of the quarter. In the second quarter Beard continued to make big plays. With Crusaders getting more frequent stops, Jonathan Brown began to score in transition as Crusaders stretched the lead to 46-35 by halftime.
The third quarter was a high scoring affair as the teams traded baskets throughout. With Anglia Ruskin closing the lead to 6, back to back 3s from Elliot Bailey stretched the lead back to double figures. At the end of the quarter Crusaders were still in control leading 68-57.
A well coached Anglia Ruskin kept fighting though, and a trio of 3 pointers from Magkos cut into the lead. Brown was instrumental for Kent, scoring 10 of Crusaders 12 points in the final quarter. In the final minute, with Crusaders up 3, an Anglia Ruskin basket cut the lead to 1. After Crusaders made a free throw, Anglia Ruskin drew a foul but were also only able to hit 1 of their 2 free throws. Brown split another pair of free throws, giving Anglia Ruskin one last chance but they were unable to score and Crusaers grabbed the rebound to secure the win.
Brown led Crusaders with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists. Beard finished with 18 points and 9 rebounds, while Bailey had 14 points and 8 rebounds.
Crusaders are next in action when they host Norfolk Titans next Saturday.